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Tell me the difference between Expensive razors and all the others?

So my DE wet shaving Journey started with a Merkur 23C. Since then I've acquired normal to mid level/price razors. Here's all of them:

Merkur 23C
Merkur 33C
Parker 97R
Parker Variant (sold)
Merkur Futur (sold)
Pearl Flexi
Feather Popular
Razorock Lupo DE Aluminum
Razorock Lupo .72 SS
The "Winning" Razor
Yaqi slant

Now I've become interested (or RAD) in the next level of razors. I've been researching and I'm looking at Yates, Timeless, ATT, Karve, Blackland, Tatara etc..
What I'd love to know is what makes these worth their cost (besides name) as compared to some lower cost machined razors?
For example, my Lupo 72 seems incredibly well built, finished and has incredibly tight tolerances but I paid less than $80 for it! And my Winning razor is made by Yates and it's flawless!
I've never personally seen, touched or used a "top of the line" razor so I'd love to know why I might spend $150++ on a razor and what makes them worth it?
Then their are even more expensive options like Wolfman, Carbon, H&S, PILS, Rocnel, etc..
So the bottom line is, what makes the expensive razors "more" special besides the fact that they have a "name" and shimmer involved?

I'd love to hear everyone's take on this before I finally splurge on one!

LRod
 
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While I don't doubt for a minute that some of those razors, like Sailor, Wolfman, etc, are incredibly engineered and probably worth close to the purchase price just in terms of materials, construction, polishing, etc I refuse to believe that the shave they deliver would be five times better than a 100 dollar razor.

But then people aren't buying them with an expectation of a five times better shave, they are buying the story, or the look, or the experience, or some other intangible that we all succumb to in one form or another; and they just hope that the shaving experience is just better enough to rationalise that choice. And if you have $500 to drop on a razor, why not? That's one of the reasons that you earn money, right? To buy things that you like.

Personally, I would never spend $500 on a safety razor. I would, however, spend $200 on a straight, and then several grand on stones to sharpen it on! :)
 
I’m not even sure the law of diminishing returns fully applies to this issue. You definitely pay for proprietary design, machining and polishing time, batch production in a high wage country and materials.

Will it shave/feel better than a cheap Chinese TTO? Most probably yes but not to each and everyone similar with an outlier chance that for some it doesn’t fit at all.

It is a package deal. If you enjoy and appreciate the workmanship and the shave is good enough you will feel that your money was well spent.

Some get their kicks out of vintage pieces (me :blushing:), rare materials, technical features, customization options etc. Again, if you like the shaves all is well and you will be happy - getting crappy shaves - then the price is irrelevant, be it a Gillette Super Blue, Toggle or High End modern piece.
 
It's mostly aesthetics. Upon close inspection some are machined a bit better but after trying several of the "mid/top tier" brands (in terms of pricing) there is nothing magical in terms of performance. I kept a couple because the geometry worked for me, but the rest got sold. GC and Wunderbar made the cut though:biggrin1:
 

luvmysuper

My Elbows Leak
Similar to what others have said, I believe there is a "tier progression" here.
Very very low cost razors will likely be cheaply made, and may have an adverse effect on your shave due to lack of workmanship, design and or material quality.
Medium range razors, will shave as well as high cost razors, but better than low cost ones. Some people may feel that using them is utilitarian and that they lack the appeal of high end razors though they shave every bit as well as or better than their higher cost cousins.
Very very high cost razors will likely be made well, and shave well. The additional cost is justified by the prestige or simply the fulfilment of the desire to have one due to materials, engineering or relative rarity.
 
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I get some of my best shaves from the very cheapest razors: £5.99 Gillette Super Blue from China (modern Techs). They certainly aren't works of art or well finished though.

The top-end razors tend to be manufactured in low volumes using labour intensive techniques and difficult materials. It's obviously more expensive to machine a baseplate from solid titanium than it is to stamp it out of an aluminium strip, like Gillette does. It doesn't mean they will necessarily shave any better, but they will be a lot nicer to look at.
 
I rather think in terms of specific razors, since the razors in each price bracket are not the same designs and do not have the same qualities. I do have certain high-priced razors that are definitely worth the premium, for me, for my preferences. They give me a markedly better shave and feel, and the additional price (amortised over the number of shaves) is easily worth it to me.

The important thing is to work out first what kind of characteristics you prefer in a razor, and then read a lot of reviews, or ask people for advice, to judge which ones should suit you best - noting particularly what other razors the reviewers own and are comparing against. Otherwise it could get very expensive trying lots of high-priced razors and finding that a lot of them are nice, but aren’t what you want.
 
This question has been asked more times than I can remember and for me the answer is - it all depends on what you think. If a $20 razor gives you the best shaves of your life, then you don't really need to buy anything else, especially more expensive and the same goes if you get the best shaves of your life from a razor that costs $300-$500 or more.

It's all individual and personal like pretty much anything else in life, so it's really up to you do decide if spending a lot of money on a razor, brush or a soap will really make your shaving experience one of a kind or it's just a gimmick for gullible folks who want to take photos and brag around on the shaving forums and groups.

I don't really own anything very expensive, so my take on this is very limited, but I do own quite a few very inexpensive and cheap razors and they shave just as good as some of my other more expensive razors. The only way to find out is to buy and try and see for yourself.
 
I have two lower middle class razors, I think you'd call them, in economic terms. I think $125 without a razor stand would be in that range. They might creep up into the middle class, I'm not sure. They are both the same model... one polished and one matte. They ended my personal search for the razor part of shaving equipment journey.

But I'll tell you... the same seemingly endless journey for just the right few brushes continues. Therein lies the problem. At least, my brush search is a bit less expensive... or this phase of it is, any way.
 
Same difference as PREMIUM vs NON-PREMIUM cars, clothes, food, phone, __________ (put whatever you want here).

All them can drive, wear, feed you exactly the same way.

Premium most of time is not funcion wise.

Is about PERCEIVED VALUE, tangible or immaginary.

___________________


Premium pricing (also called image pricing or prestige pricing) is the practice of keeping the price of one of the products or service artificially high in order to encourage favorable perceptions among buyers, based solely on the price.[1] Premium refers to a segment of a company's brands, products, or services that carry tangible or imaginary surplus value in the upper mid- to high price range.[2][3] The practice is intended to exploit the tendency for buyers to assume that expensive items enjoy an exceptional reputation or represent exceptional quality and distinction. A premium pricing strategy involves setting the price of a product higher than similar products. This strategy is sometimes also called skim pricing because it is an attempt to “skim the cream” off the top of the market. It is used to maximize profit in areas where customers are happy to pay more, where there are no substitutes for the product, where there are barriers to entering the market or when the seller cannot save on costs by producing at a high volume.

Luxury has a psychological association with premium pricing. The implication for marketing is that consumers are willing to pay more for certain goods and not for others. To the marketer, it means creating a brand equity or value for which the consumer is willing to pay extra. Marketers view luxury as the main factor differentiating a brand in a product category.

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Buy once, cry once. I see folks buying tons of low and mid tier DEs; they’ll get the job done for sure. I bought one high-end DE with stand, instead of having a drawer full of average razors. Same with my daily driver SR; I went big instead of a bunch of garage sale SRs. My higher end razors bring me instant pleasure every time they get used; bonus they look great displayed next to the sink. If folks add up all the money they spent chasing around average razors, I bet it would equal 2 or 3 high-end razors. Have fun collecting and shaving!
 
I think sometimes, the more expensive items have an advantage over the less expensive items, but it depends, obviously.

In other words, sometimes it's more than just perceived value, ofttimes not. One good example is stereo/audiophile products. I spent hours in high end stereo stores years ago, testing out speakers, esp. I brought my own LPs with me because I was familiar with the music and could then quantify the differences in the products. There were actual, audible differences. The stores would like to put on their own music that would "sell you" on how great this or that speaker was, but by bringing my own music, I was able to take that out of the equation....

Much like in shaving, you can experience the differences but in the case of razors, you usually have to buy the product unless you're involved in a pass-around.. or someone loans you this or that razor to try.

Buy once, cry once. I see folks buying tons of low and mid tier DEs; they’ll get the job done for sure. I bought one high-end DE with stand, instead of having a drawer full of average razors. Same with my daily driver SR; I went big instead of a bunch of garage sale SRs. My higher end razors bring me instant pleasure every time they get used; bonus they look great displayed next to the sink. If folks add up all the money they spent chasing around average razors, I bet it would equal 2 or 3 high-end razors. Have fun collecting and shaving!
That is my own philosophy. I worked for a guy years ago who always said.... if you like something and it's expensive, if you buy it, you'll eventually forget how much it cost. If you decide to buy a cheaper product, in the end, you'll never forget how much you paid for something you don't truly like and will always regret not buying what you wanted in the first place.

The only problem is what I mentioned above.... Even after hours of research... polling people you trust... completing all the homework... you can end up with a razor not quite suited for your own face, whiskers, etc. You can reduce the risk factor but you can't eliminate it, I don't think.... I got lucky. Someone I trusted recommended my razor... I bought it and love it. But I have to tell you, just starting out.. going from a Gillette Fusion Power that was all of $15 with a couple cartridges to a $160 razor with a razor stand was a bit of a leap of faith. In my case, it panned out.
 
I think sometimes, the more expensive items have an advantage over the less expensive items, but it depends, obviously.

In other words, sometimes it's more than just perceived value, ofttimes not. One good example is stereo/audiophile products. I spent hours in high end stereo stores years ago, testing out speakers, esp. I brought my own LPs with me because I was familiar with the music and could then quantify the differences in the products. There were actual, audible differences. The stores would like to put on their own music that would "sell you" on how great this or that speaker was, but by bringing my own music, I was able to take that out of the equation....

Much like in shaving, you can experience the differences but in the case of razors, you usually have to buy the product unless you're involved in a pass-around.. or someone loans you this or that razor to try.


That is my own philosophy. I worked for a guy years ago who always said.... if you like something and it's expensive, if you buy it, you'll eventually forget how much it cost. If you decide to buy a cheaper product, in the end, you'll never forget how much you paid for something you don't truly like and will always regret not buying what you wanted in the first place.

The only problem is what I mentioned above.... Even after hours of research... polling people you trust... completing all the homework... you can end up with a razor not quite suited for your own face, whiskers, etc. You can reduce the risk factor but you can't eliminate it, I don't think.... I got lucky. Someone I trusted recommended my razor... I bought it and love it. But I have to tell you, just starting out.. going from a Gillette Fusion Power that was all of $15 with a couple cartridges to a $160 razor with a razor stand was a bit of a leap of faith. In my case, it panned out.
Precious metals, exotic materials, and polishing will never improve the shave quality; however, they sure can lighten the day, bring pleasure as works of art and craftsmanship, and make you feel great knowing you‘ve finally arrived at a good place in your life to afford such items. Life is short, pursue whatever makes you happiest during your short time on this earthly planet.
 
The question is, ‘What makes you happy?’

Compared to carts, my Wolfman has ’paid’ for itself. I also enjoy using ‘top-tier’ kit on a daily basis.

Are the shaves that much better than shaves with my ‘travel’ razor (a Lord L6)? Nope.

But the Wolfman is far more enjoyable for me to use! YMMV for sure! :a21:
 
So my DE wet shaving Journey started with a Merkur 23C. Since then I've acquired normal to mid level/price razors. Here's all of them:

Merkur 23C
Merkur 33C
Parker 97R
Parker Variant (sold)
Merkur Futur (sold)
Pearl Flexi
Feather Popular
Razorock Lupo DE Aluminum
Razorock Lupo .72 SS
The "Winning" Razor
Yaqi slant

Now I've become interested (or RAD) in the next level of razors. I've been researching and I'm looking at Yates, Timeless, ATT, Karve, Blackland, Tatara etc..
What I'd love to know is what makes these worth their cost (besides name) as compared to some lower cost machined razors?
For example, my Lupo 72 seems incredibly well built, finished and has incredibly tight tolerances but I paid less than $80 for it! And my Winning razor is made by Yates and it's flawless!
I've never personally seen, touched or used a "top of the line" razor so I'd love to know why I might spend $150++ on a razor and what makes them worth it?
Then their are even more expensive options like Wolfman, Carbon, H&S, PILS, Rocnel, etc..
So the bottom line is, what makes the expensive razors "more" special besides the fact that they have a "name" and shimmer involved?

I'd love to hear everyone's take on this before I finally splurge on one!

LRod
If it is not zamac and some machined razor you are getting tighter tolerances, auto blade centering, and better materials. But it seems you may already be experiencing that. So if you are getting great shaves than really only the fit and finish is different. Obviously, the geometry of the razors are all different but that could be a good thing or bad thing depending on your face. As with any luxury item, you are paying for the pride of ownership or the aspirational achievement feeling you get. With this forum, you also get to participate more as your experiences grow----so that could be something. If you are getting great shaves, I imagine 50% of it is curiosity.

That being said, with all of these new razors out, BBS is no longer BBS - its now how long has it lasted and how smooth of a razor you can get and still achieve it. There is something to be said though for getting a great shave and not having to worry about dinging your $800 titanium super polished bathroom art.
 
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As others have said, diminishing returns applies to high end razors just like cars, wine, clothes, etc. It is definitely not a linear relationship between shave/finish quality and price.

I was skeptical of high end razors having been very satisfied shaving with my 2011 zamac R41 for many years, but after having owned a few higher end versions, some of them are worth it to me. I haven't liked all of them enough to justify the cost of purchasing them and keeping them around, but a few of them are really fantastic shavers for me.

Some of the brands you mentioned have an entry point that is more accessible - notably the Karve CB if you opt for brass, which I think is a very nice razor for the money once you find the plate that works for you. And several have very generous return policies if you are unhappy with your purchase. As with everything shave related, YMMV.
 
Buy once, cry once. I see folks buying tons of low and mid tier DEs; they’ll get the job done for sure. I bought one high-end DE with stand, instead of having a drawer full of average razors. Same with my daily driver SR; I went big instead of a bunch of garage sale SRs. My higher end razors bring me instant pleasure every time they get used; bonus they look great displayed next to the sink. If folks add up all the money they spent chasing around average razors, I bet it would equal 2 or 3 high-end razors. Have fun collecting and shaving!
I agree since that's me. I bought several mid-tier razors and probably should have gone all the way since the beginning. The problem I see though is how do you choose "The one high end razor" without ever seeing it or trying it?
They are expensive and they might not work as expected. Right now I'm researching by reading everyone's experiences with particular models but in the end what I choose might not work.
It's tough!
 
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